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  • Charles Arrowsmith

Review: The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis (LA Times)


“The Shards,” the seventh novel by Bret Easton Ellis, is a paranoid slasher-thriller epic. It’s also an experiment in autofiction, set during the senior year of one “Bret Ellis” at a private L.A. prep school. And it comes with an extra frisson of literary intrigue. It’s been 13 years since his last novel, during which time he’s grown skeptical of both the form and its waning readership. He made a web series and has written a couple of terrible horror movies. His cranky but freewheeling podcast seemed gradually to become his main focus. Can Ellis now rediscover some of the old magic of “Less Than Zero” and “American Psycho”?


Fall 1981. Our hero and his friends at the Buckley School cruise the San Fernando Valley, watch movies, take drugs, hook up. Bret is in a listless relationship with Debbie Schaffer, the daughter of a Hollywood producer, and sleeping with two of his male classmates. He’s started to write what will become his first novel, “Less Than Zero.” (There’s enough in “The Shards” that probably did happen to cast a kind of uncanny doubt over what surely didn’t.)


For the full review, visit The Los Angeles Times.

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